James Lesson 2
Joy in Trials

Junior Level

August 7th, 2016

This week we continue our series in James with the prayer that you will be encouraged and know that everything GOD allows in the lives of HIS children is for their good and HIS glory!  GOD Bless You All.

Handout:  James

James 1:1-8

 1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. 2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
 5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Last week, we studied a bit about the man James and learned that he was the half brother of The LORD JESUS.  We understood that at the beginning, even though they grew up together, James was an unbeliever.  Later, James came to believe and just like we who have believed entered into the family of GOD.  Now James could not enter in by entitlement, playing the brother of The LORD card…He had to come humble just as we do and be born again or born from above through belief and repentance.  You will find in the book of Acts chapter 15 that James because a Pillar in the early church as he taught the gospel along with Peter and John.  GOD had a plan for James and HE has a plan for you and me!  Have you believed and accepted? 

I love that James begins his letter not, James, the brother of Jesus Christ, but James, a servant of GOD and of The LORD JESUS CHRIST!!! I love that, he understood…he got it, he had believed.  All we who have believed are servants of GOD, and of The LORD JESUS CHRIST!  What an honor!!!  There is no greater honor bestowed upon sinful humanity than to be accepted by Almighty GOD, through HIS BELOVED SON JESUS CHRIST.  To get to be HIS servants…what a gift! 

James goes on to say count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations (or trials)…wait a minute…what?  Consider it joy?  I’m guessing you are like me, and the last thing you want to do is jump up and down when you are going through a hard time, but see that’s not what James is saying.  He isn’t telling us that we have to think trials are fun or funny, or that we have to feel happy all the time when times are painful and hard, he is saying COUNT IT JOY, Consider it joy…in other words Understand that if GOD has allowed a trial in your life, IT IS FOR A SPECIFIC REASON FOR YOUR GOOD!  (Romans 8:28)

Sometimes we can’t see the reason right away, sometimes there will be tests and trails that we never know the reason while we are in this life, but that’s where trust in our GOD comes in!  I think of a song by the McKameys that I sing as well sometimes called “You’re Still GOD.”  The second verse lyrics say…

“LORD, I can’t find the reason, the reason for this trial, but I know Your ways are perfect, and You’ve been watching all the while.  And to me You’ve proven faithful, time and time again, and LORD I’m learning to trust You, even when I don’t understand.  You’re still GOD, when my eyes have cried a million tears.  You’re still GOD, when my last hope has disappeared.  You’re still GOD, and I know You’ll make a way somehow.  You’re still GOD, and You’re holding me right now.”

Sometimes we don’t understand.  Sometimes it seems pointless and in vain, but IT IS NOT!  Nothing GOD allows in our lives is vain or pointless, and I’ll go even further than that, in the lesson last week, every trial, every heartbreak, every pain, every mistake, every sin, every wrong done to us, every wrong we have done, has created in our lives, space for Grace!  GOD is faithful and HE will finish the work HE has begun in us that one glorious day we will be like His Son…JESUS!  What a day that will be!  No more sin, no more death, no more pain, no more trials, and it will be forever! 

We are not Home yet!  So while we are here we will have trials…we will have heartbreak and trouble.  It doesn’t mean that GOD hates us or that He is made at us or that we are bad all the time.  It simply is part of a world under the curse of sin.  Just as Paul writes.  “The wages of sin is death but the gift of GOD is eternal life through JESUS CHRIST our LORD.”  (Romans 6:23)  Job penned man that is born of a woman, is of few days and full of trouble.  He comes forth like a flower but is cut down. (Job 14:1)  Life in a sinful world equals trials sometimes, but what James is teaching us is that trails to a believer is not always bad, it may seem bad or feel bad but it is not.  We can count it all joy because if we are wise, that trial will produce the Spiritual fruit, patience or endurance  What is endurance?  Here’s what Dictionary.com says that it is.

“Endurance : noun
1.the fact or power of enduring  or bearing pain, hardships,etc.
2.the ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina:”

“Perseverance : noun

1.steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.”

We MUST have endurance/patience to run this race, to win this Spiritual war that Ephesians 6 tells us about.  Without endurance the enemy would crush us over and over and over again!  See, GOD is The BEST FATHER, and HE is raising us up right.  Think of your own children or if you don’t have children think of your childhood.  Good parents don’t just give their children every thing they ask for, because sometimes the child can want things that are not good for them or that would hurt them because they don’t understand.  It’s the same with us and with GOD, there are things that we want or things we want to happen that simply would not be good for us and we can’t see why, but GOD KNOWS!  He is not going to do anything or give us anything that would be bad for us.  See what satan tries to do is tell us in the middle of a trial that if GOD loved us then He would make it all stop, or that HE would not have allowed us to go through such hardship but satan is a liar.  (John 8:44)  he wants so badly for you and I to give up on GOD. 

Think back at a trial that you have been through in your life, not a present one, but one that you have already been through where you truly trusted GOD and endured through it.  Now on the other side of it you see how good Your GOD is and how HE gave you strength and that HE did work it out for your good.  There is not a person in the world, past, present, or future who can honestly say that GOD hasn’t been good to them.  HE IS FAITHFUL…YOU CAN ALWAYS TRUST HIM ALL THE TIME!

Now think of a trial that you are going through now.  Maybe you have been tempted to just give up on GOD.  Maybe you have been tempted to just give in to the urges of the flesh, to try to fix things yourself.  You can do that.  You have choices. 

1.  You can trust GOD to take you through this trial and know that you will grow stronger in your faith and in perseverance/endurance through it.

OR

2. You can just forget about GOD and try to fix it yourself.

Have you ever tried to fix things yourself?  One time when I was a small girl, I was in church sitting next to my mom.  I had been chewing gum, and I took the gum out of my mouth and it stuck to my finger.  Instead of showing my mom and letting her get a tissue and getting it off, I tried to pull it off with my other fingers and it stuck to them.  Still, then afraid I would get in trouble, I tried even more until both my hands were covered in a sticky mess that there was no way I could get out of, and was in trouble!  Had I just gone to her to begin with, she could have fixed it no problem, but I chose to trust in my own ability to get out of that mess. 

Beloved, we will get into the mess of our lives every single time we try to bypass GOD and do things ourselves!  It just doesn’t work.  GOD did not create us to be independent!  He created us to depend upon HIM.  HE delights in us depending upon HIM!  It’s not weak to ask HIM for help, it is wise!  HE didn’t create us to be able to help ourselves without HIM…see the problem is not that GOD doesn’t know this…the problem is that we don’t!  When we understand that GOD is not going to laugh at us or ridicule us when we ask for help, we can understand that it is HIS DESIRE! 

If you are going through a trial today, know that GOD ALMIGHTY wants you to trust HIM and to pray for help and grace.  He will bring you through and you will have lasting endurance and more faith to help you run your race and to win this war.  HE IS OUR CHAMPION and HE DOES NOT LOSE!  No, it’s not always easy, but it is worth it!

1 Peter 4:12-13 12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Choose life…Choose victory…Choose JESUS!

Heavenly Righteous Father…

Thank You for loving me with a love like no other.  Thank You for everything that I have.  Thank You for every time of laughter and pain.  Thank You for the trials because I know that You sent them into my life as a gift so that You could make me more like You and so that You could show Your great and awesome power in the life that You have given to me.  Thank You for the rough spots because if the mountains were smooth, I would not be able to climb them.  Help me to have that lasting endurance, that perseverance that James wrote about so that my life will be pleasing to You.  Help me to live in obedience to You.  Help me to do the right thing not for vain glory or shallow desires, but to do the right thing because it’s right to do and because it pleases you.  Help me be faithful to You in all things and thank You for always being faithful to me and all Your children.  You are so good and I love you.  Help all those today who are facing trials and temptation of their own.  Help them know that You are there and that You will work it out for their good if they will trust and obey You.  Thank You for being so good.  I am so in love with You Dear LORD, it’s in Your precious name JESUS that I pray…Amen.  Thank You GOD…My FATHER!

Cindygirl
April 1, 2012